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What would you do?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by kweej, Mar 13, 2013.

  1. kweej


    Nov 30, 2012
    So, here's the situation...

    We had a show scheduled and we arranged with the bar owner to set up early. So we set up at around 6pm, sound check, and leave. We agree to get there around 9 and start at 9:30. I get there, the drummer gets there, but the band leader/guitar/singer is late. Turns out he's at the emergency room with his 2 year old son who needs stitches...long story short... he's not coming.

    So, it's 9:30, good crowd, bar owner wants music. The drummer and I start calling everyone we know trying to find a fill in. I call a drummer friend, who tells me to call his friend Bill (until that night, I had never met the guy in my life). Bill says he'll do it, he shows up, we put our heads together to come up with a set list, and we squeeze about 2 hours of music out of the whole mess. And it was actually very good...a lot of fun. And we got good reviews, especially from the bar owner.

    However... the band leader/guitar/singer was/is pretty upset. I think his feelings were hurt, and in a way I can understand and I'm not knocking him for that. It's his band, he booked it, etc. When we told him how we were handling it, he told us not to use the band's name. So we called the band Smoke and Mirrors since that's how were were going to get through the night. This happened quite a while ago, but he still mentions it once in a while. So it's still bugging him.

    Personally, it was the most fun I've had in a long time just for the sheer "who the hell knows what's going to happen here" aspect of it. And I'm not one to just walk away from a challenge. So I'd do it again for sure.

    I just want to gauge how my peers would handle the situation. Was I right? Wrong? How would you handle it? And any band leaders out there...please chime in.
  2. P-oddz

    P-oddz Supporting Member

    Apr 7, 2009
    Milwaukee, WI
    I don't think you have anything to feel bad about. He couldn't make the show, you needed to play some music. You found a way to make the show still happen (maintaining your good standing with the bar owner) and you followed his wishes to call it something else temporarily. If he still has a bug about it, that's his responsibility, not yours or your band's.
  3. allanhearn


    Apr 22, 2004
    You did the right thing. You handled your obligation to the bar, made them some money
    and had a good time. The band leader should be thankful you handled it professionally
    and saved his good name. If he is butt hurt because you went on without him is jealous
    and not very seasoned. I have had things come up were I could not make a gig and I always try to set up a sub. I would never be pissed the band kept a gig I couldn't make.

    Way to go!!
  4. spz8


    Jan 19, 2009
    Glen Cove, NY
    Congratulations for thinking on your feet, and salvaging an awful predicament. Your singer/guitarist needs to grow up. Suck it up and get over it, I say.
  5. He should be thanking you, period. He booked the gig and you saved his good name by taking care of getting a sub and proceeding with the gig. Broken commitments to bar owners are not a good thing.

    IMHO, he is being ridiculous.

    Now that being said, I see no reason for you to rub salt in it by continuing to say things like "wow, remember how good we were that time we played with Bill"

    It should be a non-issue.
  6. He should be thankful you guys pulled through with your obligation, instead of pulling a no show you soldiered on & kept the club owner & crowd happy.
  7. If it was that important to him he would have been there.
    No reason his wife could not have stayed at the hospital so he could do the show.
    Single dad perhaps?
    He also should have let you know as soon as he knew he was going to the hospital and not to the show.
    Sounds like you had to call him only to discover he was a no show.

    You did what you had to and played the show.
    Well done.
  8. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    You acted as any pro would. Your band leader needs to lighten up. If you run a band for any amount of time this is bound to happen. The fact that he is surrounded by people who get the job done regardless of what happens is a good thing. This further proves my theory that most band leaders are total flakes. You saved his butt. You did exactly what you should have.

    And, by the way, your GUITAR player who stayed with his injured kid did EXACTLY what he was supposed to do as well. There's no bar gig EVER that warrants this quote..... "OK kid, you've been patched up. I gotta go play music at the bar. Good luck with it." I have a three year old and a one year old. I can tell you this for sure. If I EVER caught any crap for not leaving my kid's side after an injury to play Mustang Sally at the freaking bar, quitting that band would be the LEAST of his worries. He would probably be getting his OWN stitches. Gimme a break. If your band leader's "feelings are hurt" he's a douche bag.
  9. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    If the bar owner was happy, everybody should be happy.

  10. tell your bandleader to quit being a douche. alternatively, constantly wonder what bill the guitarist is up to out loud.
  11. zfunkman


    Dec 18, 2012
    Your singer shoud be stoked to know you were able to pull that gig off; especially since he was the one who had to deal with the family emergency; he should be comforted by the fact that the band handled the band emergency when he could not. I'd tell him that he's still the singer and to pull his head out of his arse.
  12. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
  13. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    +1 What did he want you guys to do cancel the show and get a bad rep? he should have been grateful did he get a cut of the money?
  14. Factor88


    Jun 21, 2011
    I was in a similar situation where a guitarist (not even a BL, but one of the "founding" members of the band) could not play certain dates on a schedule, but when we had gigs offered to us we took them using a sub (totally up front with the guy) and he flipped out about how the band should not play without him, don't use the name, etc. Eventually he calmed down and now we do it once or twice a year and he does not get worked up over it.......

    That being said, I also was involved in a reverse situation, where I could not do a date on the calendar so they found a sub, and it was for a very important venue that we make 60% of our yearly income. The next time we were there, the owner pulled me aside and told me to "never do that to him again"...the band sucked. Sure, in the OP's specific case it worked out, but hindsight is 20/20.

    My bigger problem is that it seems from the way you told your story is that the BL did not tell you in a timely fashion he was dealing with an emergency ("I get there, the drummer gets there, but the band leader/guitar/singer is late. Turns out he's at the emergency room with his 2 year old son who needs stitches"). Unless your BL and his family have the ability to travel forward and backward in time and space, then he knew about his son's accident before he was due to arrive at the club (same time YOU were due to arrive at the club). I have young kids myself and have had to go with them to the hospital, so I know these things can be stressful, but dude can't take 30 seconds to make a call? Maybe he has no cell phone, or maybe you guys don't? Perhaps I misinterpreting how you told the story, but that is what sticks out to me.

    And to how I would handle it? If I could pull in a last minute sub who I personally knew would enable us to pull off the gig at a reasonable level of competence, I would do exactly as you did. If I did not know that for sure, I'd rather cancel the gig than risk a train wreck that might be just as likely to keep us from being asked back than cancelling last minute. Bar owners, beleive it or not, can be human beings and looking back on it I've been in bands that have cancelled last minute because of family crises and remember none of those times adversely affecting our relationship with the venue. That does not mean you were wrong...................
  15. I'd have done the same thing. You made the right decision IMO.
  16. Wow, it looks like I mostly agree with every single response so far.

    It sounds to me like you did an impressive job handling the situation. I think with a lot of other bands, the show wouldn't have gone on. That would have been the case for most of the people I've dealt with.

    I don't really get why your guy was/is upset about it. I agree that he should be happy that you guys salvaged things so well.

    I took you to be saying that he's the one that keeps bringing it up.

    What is it that he would have had you do, cancel after you were already set up?
  17. You handled it perfectly. Not sure about the aftermath handling. "I'd do it again for sure" isn't a big stretch to "I'd rather be playing with Bill".

    "It was one show, get over it ya big baby!" might fix it.
  18. elgecko


    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    The show had to go on...and it did. Kudos!

    BTW, "seat of your pants" gigs like that are always fun.
  19. smperry

    smperry Administrator Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    You handled the situation perfectly, imo.
  20. Bassdirty


    Jul 23, 2010
    My thoughts exactly..
    not only did you save the day(night)... but you saved his "good" name , that may have otherwise been sullied.

    He owes you a beer or something.

    If you guys were that good, its a shame you didnt use the real band name...

    Or suggest (to him) you change the bandname to ...smoke and mirrors. ;)

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